Start-Up Entrepreneur Runs Out Of Investment ‘Juice’

Around three years ago, my partner and I founded a business producing and delivering raw juices for detoxification. We had felt that this product would be a winner because, early on, a lot of people were signing up quickly once we had explained the many health benefits of raw-juice programs. The growing movement toward greater concern about health appeared to make many people willing to spend big on preventing illness and the convenience of not having to do their own juicing.

Too many carrots in one basket

Fortunately, we had a big break when we signed a deal with Fitness First centers to provide 10 of its prime branches with our raw juices. We were contracted to deliver 1,200 bottles a month, which meant monthly revenue of 120,000 Thai baht (THB 100 per 250 milliliters). Sadly, not many Thai customers understood the considerable benefits of drinking raw juice. It also seemed almost impossible to succeed from leaving the product to sell itself without a salesperson present.

Stock longevity and margin problems effect operations

Moreover, the juices’ shelf life was only five days, and that was in a refrigerator that maintained the bottles of juice within a strict temperature range. We spent nearly all of our money producing the juices and the sales were low. Nevertheless, we decided to continue with Fitness First because we believed having one of the top-five global brand fitness centers on our client list would boost our reputation.

Cash flow problems squeeze life out of funds to keep business running

However, around about that time, we ran out of money for further investment to scale up to the point enabling us to sustain operations or make a profit. In the end, we had lost more than 50% of our original investment. We tried to survive by setting up a kiosk-type channel on-site (Fitness First), selling juice by the glass, but that strategy failed to save us and we ended up selling to an English investor, who noted however that our branding was quite good.

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Disclaimer: This content is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Readers should not consider statements made by the author(s) as formal recommendations and ...

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